ID Theft in the Afterlife

To protect against identity theft, you should never share too much about yourself on social media. But once you die, those accounts can pose new problems – beyond the heartbreaking reminders that come with “friend” requests made from the deceased, often through automated programs or a hacker’s ingenuity. Each year, the identities of some 2.5 million deceased Americans are used to fraudulently open credit card accounts, apply for loans, or get cellphone or other services. Each day roughly 2,200 dead people …

Will Obamacare Save Lives?

Fewer people died after Massachusetts introduced mandatory health coverage in 2006, a new Harvard study finds, offering “encouraging evidence” that the country’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) – modeled on the Massachusetts plan – could also save lives, researchers said. The study, published this week in Annals of Internal Medicine, found that Massachusetts’ health-coverage law saved about 320 lives a year during each of its first four years. “Our findings add to a growing body of evidence showing that health insurance makes …

Some Student Borrowers Face Default if Cosigner Dies

Many parents and grandparents are aware of the hazards of cosigning an education loan, putting themselves on the hook to repay if the student doesn’t. Now another wrinkle has emerged that can end up hurting student borrowers: Under the terms offered by most private lenders, institutions can demand that borrowers immediately repay a loan in full if the cosigner dies or files for bankruptcy. These so-called auto-defaults can occur even if the borrower has been keeping up with payments. And …

A Big Problem With Fill-in-the-Blank Wills

It’s tempting, I know. You’re trying to save money. You don’t have lots of property to leave to others. Your estate isn’t complicated. So you go to an office supply store, bookstore or online legal site, grab a standard will form and fill it in yourself. That’s what Ann Aldrich of Keystone Heights, Fla., did back in 2004. She left her property to her sister, Mary Jane Eaton, and added in a clause stating that if Eaton died before she …

Archie: The Demise of America’s Oldest Teenager?

Can it be true? Is Archie Andrews really going to die? Archie, the comic book icon in the Riverdale High letter sweater, has been hanging out with best buddy Jughead Jones at The Chok’lit Shop and struggling with the Betty-or-Veronica quandry for more than seven decades. But now comes word that Archie is headed for that great malt shop in the sky. Archie Comics, the publisher of his adventures, has announced that he will “sacrifice himself heroically” while saving the life of …

She Was His North Star

His shoulders slump and his head bows as if his very life force has been suddenly drawn out of him. His face reflects the pain and confusion that his mind and heart are toiling with, struggling to grasp a wisp of reality and understand that the impossible has indeed happened. “I just can’t believe it; I can’t fathom it,” he says. “Are you telling me the truth? She’s not available anymore?” This happens every time my dad asks about my …